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Android Question Google Play has removed my app for not providing enough added value

Discussion in 'Android Questions' started by Syd Wright, Sep 13, 2019 at 9:48 AM.

  1. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    Today I received a notification that one of my apps has been suspended and removed from the Google Playstore. The reason stated is:
    "We don't allow apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. Apps should provide value to users through creation of unique content or services"
    My app has been in the playstore for about 4 years! Apparently Google now has a new policy that doesn't allow for competition!!
    Has anybody else experienced this as well? Time to contact the competition regulators...
  2. JohnC

    JohnC Well-Known Member Licensed User

    Can you post a copy of the play store description for your app and a few screenshots?
  3. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    Not anymore, because that part of my Playstore account just states that this app has been suspended.
  4. techknight

    techknight Well-Known Member Licensed User

    Thats a copy from apple. That whole section in the guidelines for the Play Store is a rip from apple when they implemented that a year or so back.

    These big corporate conglomerates copy off of each other all the time. So when one company goes off the handle and does something with as many cons as it has pros, the monkey see monkey do effect takes hold.

    It would help to know what kind of App it was and its functionality. Maybe it fell victim to the Flappy Bird, vs Flippy Bird vs Fluttery Bird effect....
    Syd Wright and f0raster0 like this.
  5. LucaMs

    LucaMs Expert Licensed User

    Syd Wright likes this.
  6. techknight

    techknight Well-Known Member Licensed User

    That or someone "reported" that particular app, just because.
    Syd Wright likes this.
  7. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    It was a simple app called "TV and Video" based on Vitamio that plays most video formats and could stream a number of (Dutch) TV stations. Moster made the Vitamio wrapper for B4A some years ago.

    I have now written to three national newspapers and also to the "consumer and markets authority" to inform them about Google's latest nasty, probably law breaking habits (awaiting their reply).

    The original app that I submitted about 5 or 6 years ago has already been blocked about 3 years ago because Vitamio was not quick enough to bring their code in line with Google's requirements. I had to update and re-submit it then under a new name, losing many users. Now I have no other option than to await Google's response to my request for re-evaluation.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:10 PM
    LucaMs likes this.
  8. Sagenut

    Sagenut Active Member Licensed User

    If this rule will start to be applied constantly...
    Well, we can stop developing.
    It's clear that exist nearly 1 app for everything, including the most twisted minded ideas that You can imagine.
    By one side is smart to avoid to have 100 clone-like apps that will make users to get crazy finding the good one for that service.
    But how they determine which app deserve to be removed compared to another?
    We get complication over complication at every new OS release, plus the difficulties to fulfill all the market's requirements.
    When there will be no more developers/publishments on the market maybe something will change in our direction.
    LucaMs and Syd Wright like this.
  9. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    I fully agree. To me it's no longer a pleasure to develop for Android. I make apps for visually impaired users and have had to cripple my apps (remove features like sending SMS, storing data where I want/need it etc.) in order to comply with Google's whims. B4A is also suffering from what Google imposes. Just making simple features often implies running into difficulties and the need for work-arounds. Maybe time for B4H (Basic for Huawei) or B4T (Basic for Tysan) :)?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 10:57 AM
  10. Douglas Farias

    Douglas Farias Expert Licensed User

    This is normal, as I have said several times in this forum, google does what he wants at the time he wants, this is why I have several google play accounts.

    Unfortunately this is so and there is not much to do. Sometimes, very rarely, you can submit an appeal, showing that your app is already on Google Play for years, and maybe someone with a good heart inside will turn it back on.
    Syd Wright and f0raster0 like this.
  11. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Expert Licensed User

    It's interesting that you should say that. I following an extremely successful developer on YouTube who has had the same problem as you. Actually, Google removed his widely successful app and they (Google) release an app exactly the same, it does the same thing as his app and almost looks the same too.

    I'll PM you the video to watch...
    asales likes this.
  12. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    Thank you Peter. I watched your very interesting video.
  13. Syd Wright

    Syd Wright Active Member Licensed User

    Just to inform that Google has rejected my appeal. The reasons that they give now are somewhat different than original:
    "Hi Developer,
    Thanks for contacting the Google Play team.
    After review, we've confirmed our initial decision and we won't be reinstating your app at this time.
    Repetitive content violates our Spam policy and is prohibited on Google Play.
    Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience on Google Play and we appreciate your cooperation. If you do choose to re-publish a new version of your app, please review the Developer Program Policies to make sure your app is compliant with our policies.
    The Google Play Team"

    Originally (yesterday) they stated:
    "We don't allow apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. Apps should provide value to users through creation of unique content or services".

    A .mp4, .avi, .mkv and other videoformat player as well as rtmp, .m3u8 and other TV streams player is definitely not Spam and also I don't have any other apps with such player functionality in the Playstore.
  14. Sagenut

    Sagenut Active Member Licensed User

    In their Spam section they mention again the fact that is prohibited to publish app that do the same thing of another without adding any new functionality.
    As stated by @LucaMs it should be removed every Chess App, Tetris App and so on.
    On second hand.....I can't believe that they test carefully every submitted app.
    It would be great.
    I would prefer to wait even 2 weeks for approval if they would check the app deeply to verify content, malware or everything else.
    It looks that Apple is far better under this aspect.
    But I don't have direct experience.
    We can speak about this for years and we will finish in a closed circle every time.
    As someone told there are 2 options:
    Take or Leave
    Google Play is not the only market, but obviously the most known and used.
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